Two new draft Advisory Opinions from the FEC's legal staff leave open the possibility that the commission will allow candidates and party officers to raise money — possibly without limits — for Super PACs.
The opinions, which were posted on the Federal Election Commission's website Tuesday and which are expected to be voted on by the commissioners Thursday, differ from a draft posted last week. That draft said candidates could appear at Super PAC fundraisers but could not solicit unlimited contributions. It did not address the possibility of raising limited amounts.
One of the drafts posted Tuesday, a revision of ...Continue reading
Bob Kerrey and Warren Rudman, two former U.S. Senators who are now co-chairs of Americans for Campaign Reform, gave testimony almost a decade ago documenting how raising big soft money donations to political parties had a corrupting effect on lawmakers. The see a similar corrupting effect should the Federal Election Commission rule that federal candidates and party officials can raise unlimited contributions from any source for Super PACs. The Campaign Legal Center agrees, arguing that candidates for federal office and party committee officials are barred from raising funds not subject to the limits of the Federal Election Campaign Act ...
Departing White House counsel Robert Bauer is returning to the election law practice he built at Perkins Coie, where his once and future colleagues have been active on behalf of a pair of Super PACs. The firm recently asked the Federal Election Commission to rule on whether politicians can raise unlimited sums from any source for "independent expenditure-only" groups.
As the Reporting Group previously reported, Perkins Coie filed an advisory opinion request with the FEC on behalf of two clients, the Majority PAC (formerly known as CommonSense Ten) and the House Majority PAC, asking whether candidates for federal office can ...Continue reading
Citizens United architect and campaign finance law foe James Bopp Jr. has seconded a request by Democratic campaign finance experts Perkins Coie for the Federal Election Commission to allow politicians and party committee officials to solicit corporations and labor unions for unlimited funds to be spent by independent expenditure-only committees, also known as Super PACs. Bopp's new client, the Republican Super PAC, has already outlined such a fundraising strategy to Republican party officials.
If approved, the Perkins Coie request, made on behalf of the Majority PAC and the House Majority PAC, would give FEC approval for a politician to ...Continue reading
Following on the heels of the new fundraising strategy laid out by James Bopp Jr. for Republican Super PAC, a pair of similar Democratic groups -- also known as independent expenditure-only committees -- have asked the Federal Election Commission to rule on whether party committee officials and candidates for federal office can permissibly raise unlimited funds from any source for these outside organizations.
The letter, sent on behalf of the House Majority PAC and the Majority PAC by Marc E. Elias, Ezra W. Reese and Jonathan S. Berkon of the Perkins Coie law firm, also asks whether candidates can participate in fundraisers ...Continue reading
The mid-term elections are over and the 2012 contest is 23 months away, but the independent groups that played an outsized role in the former are already gearing up for the next contest. Protecting America's Retirees and America's Next Generation filed letters last month with the Federal Election Commission declaring their intent to take unlimited contributions from any source.
Protecting America's Retirees, which an AFL-CIO blog post identifies as an "independent project of the Alliance for Retired Americans," disclosed modest expenditures of $157,000 in the midterms aimed at six House races, backing the winner in three ...Continue reading
Major Democratic donors and activists are coming together to plot an outside spending strategy for the 2012 campaign after failing... View ArticleContinue reading
Outside groups that have not disclosed their donors have dumped more than $1 million into each of 14 Senate and 18 House races. As much as $110 million has been pumped into the elections so far by political groups that have yet to disclose their donors, reports submitted to the Federal Election Commission show, and this "dark money" from unknown contributors has impacted 168 congressional races across the country.
The Illinois Senate race between Democratic candidate Alexander Giannoulias and Republican Mark Kirk has attracted the most dark money so far in the mid-term elections, with $6.8 million coming from ...Continue reading
A roundup of what we’re noticing in the Reporting Group as we dig into government data and disclosures: 5 day... View ArticleContinue reading
Fred Eshelman, CEO of North Carolina-based Pharmaceutical Product Development, has given $3.38 million to RightChange.com, an organization taking part in the onslaught of outside spending this election cycle, according to documents filed with the IRS. Almost all of the money going to RightChange comes from Eshelman; the organization is a vehicle for him to air his political views, which happen to align with the GOP's.
The documents also show that, in addition to Eshelman's support, RightChange.com received $105,000 from a group sharing its name, RightChange II. The ultimate origins of that money was not ...Continue reading